Unit name: Health, Safety and Wellbeing in Care Settings
Learning outcome: 6. Know how to handle hazardous substances and materials
Assessment criteria: 6.2 Explain safe practices for storing hazardous substances and using hazardous substances
Hazardous substances must be stored, used and disposed of correctly to ensure the safety of yourself and others.
This means adhering to your organisation’s agreed ways of working as well as the manufacturer’s directions and warning labels. Your employer should risk-assess the handling of hazardous materials and make information available to employees so that they can handle them safely.
Hazardous substances should be stored according to the manufacturer’s instructions. It may be necessary to store them securely to reduce the likelihood of accidents from unauthorised access. Temperature and ventilation may also need to be taken into account. They should be kept in their original containers to avoid confusion. When new stock is delivered, it should be checked and put away immediately. Regular stock checks should be performed.
When using hazardous substances, adherence to the manufacturer’s directions and employer’s agreed ways of working should be observed. Plan to use hazardous substances when you are unlikely to be disturbed and do not leave them unattended. Any spillages should be cleaned up immediately and substances should be returned to their storage area immediately after use.
Some waste may need to be separated and disposed of separately. An example would be clinical waste, which should be sealed and labelled before being incinerated. Another example would be sharps, such as needles, which must be disposed of in a sharps box before arranging for incineration.